With a $65 billion Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Tanzania ranks 85th for being one of the poorest countries in the world. However, geopolitical analyst Alessandro Bruno says, “Tanzania is one of the fast growing countries in Africa and has experienced the highest improvement in health and social standards in recent years. Among African countries, Tanzania is one of the most developed — it has developments in technologies, a sound business environment and a stable government that favours investment as compared to other African countries.” Between 2000 and 2008, 7% of Tanzania’s GDP growth per year came from strong gold production and tourism and the economy depends heavily on agriculture, which provides 85% of exports, and employs about 80% of the work force.
Kibaran Nickel Limited (ASX: KNL) has reported the discovery of large flake graphite from its Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania. A sampling program yielded results of up to 29.9% total carbon graphite (TCG) with an average of 14.9% TCG. These results compare favorably to other East African graphite occurrences.
In May 2012, Kibaran Nickel acquired Tanzgraphite, which owned the Mahenge and Merelani-Arusha graphite projects in Tanzania. The Mahenge project hosts the Ndololo, Epanko and Kasita graphite prospects and consists of two tenements covering an area of 325.5 square kilometers. Three samples from the Kasita site yielded 16.5% TGC and averaging 13% TGC.
Kibaran Nickel is also awaiting results from metallurgical samples from Ndololo and the Merelani-Arusha graphite project. Drilling at the Mahenge and Merelani-Arusha graphite prospects expected to begin in mid-July 2012.
Here are some additional details on Kibaran Nickel’s graphite exploration and geological activities in Tanzania:
- Kibaran Nickel is an exploration company focused on its Kagera Nickel Project that is adjacent to the Kabanga Nickel Projects which are among the largest undeveloped, high grade nickel sulphide deposits in the world. With the recent acquisition of Tanzgraphite, Kibaran Nickel now has exposure to the graphite market.
- Geological mapping at Ndololo prospect delineated the graphitic schist to occur over at 17.4 kilometer strike length — three times larger than historically recorded at 5.0 kilometers. Large flake graphite up to 9 millimeters in diameter is continuous along the strike length. An additional graphitic schist occurs over a 13.6 kilometer strike length at the Kasita and Epanko prospects.
- Drill planning is underway at the Ndololo prospect. The drill program will be designed to delineate an inferred mineral resource and revised exploration target potential for the Mahenge graphite project.
- The Merelani-Arusha graphite project consist of 7 tenements covering 973.4 square kilometers and flake graphite of up to 10 millimeters in diameter has been observed. Geological mapping has observed a graphitic schist of over 1.5 kilometers in length with an average width of 200 meters.
- Previous work carried out by Tanzgraphite’s geologists and available technical data provides information to estimate a potential exploration target of between 3.5 million tonnes and 7 million tonnes of graphitic schist grading between 10% and 15.5% Carbon for the Ndololo graphite project.
- Tanzania is a stable, mining friendly country with good infrastructure that includes rail and road.